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Sunday May 3rd, 2015 10:54AM

Region championships, playoff races to be decided in week ahead

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
We hope you enjoyed your spring break, because the reprieve is over. Now is the time for the business-end of spring.

Starting this week, the postseason is underway for a number of area sports programs, and those that are still in the regular season face some defining contests.

Area tennis and track and field programs will crown region champions this week and set their sites on state.

It starts on Monday, as Regions 8-AAAA gets things going with their championship track and field meets (scroll down for a complete look at northeast Georgia's sports schedule). Region 8-AAAAA commences on Tuesday, with Regions 7-AAA and 8-AA getting in on the act on Wednesday. All track championship meets will cover two days of competition, with the top finishers moving into state sectional meets that will take place in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, region tennis tournaments will also encompass two days this week, starting with the Region 8-AAAAA tournament at Flowery Branch High and Davis Middle schools. Region 8-AAAA will compete at Madison County, while 7-AAA will battle at the well-familiar Bobby Bailey Tennis Center in Flowery Branch.

There will also be region champions crowned this week in soccer, while baseball will feature critical contests.

The West Hall and Dawson County boys will tussle for control of Region 7-AAA soccer supremacy when they face off on Tuesday in Oakwood. A win would give the Spartans a two-game lead in the league with just one 7-AAA game remaining. Yet the most tantalizing game will come in non-region form, when Gainesville travels to take on arch-rival Johnson on Friday. The Knights are currently No. 2 in Class AAAA, while the Red Elephants are No. 2 in Class AAAAA.

On the diamond, region races will turn on to the home stretch, as teams look to clear the playoff picture.

Dawson County threw Region 7-AAA a curveball last week by handing Buford its first region defeat and to keep the Tigers in the playoff hunt. And while the Wolves still have a stranglehold on first, North Hall still has a chance to catch Buford, and the Trojans will look to inch closer -- including a huge contest at Buford on Friday.

Meanwhile, Gainesville and Flowery Branch face critical contests in Region 8-AAAAA -- and each rival will likely be cheering for the other this week. The Red Elephants will look to stay within a game of Loganville -- which faces Flowery Branch on Friday. Meanwhile, Gainesville will play host to Heritage this week, which swept the Falcons earlier this season. A Red Elephants sweep of Heritage would put Flowery Branch in a much stronger position.

Area golfers will also get back in the swing this week, including the North Georgia High School Invitational on Friday-Saturday at Achasta Golf Club in Dahlonega.

Hope you're rested and ready, because now there will be no real rest until Memorial Day.


AREA SPORTS SCHEDULE, APRIL 14-19
Monday, April 14
BASEBALL:
Buford at Banks County
Centennial at North Forsyth
East Hall at Fannin County
Flowery Branch at Clarke Central
Franklin County at Jackson County
Habersham Central at Duluth
Lumpkin County at Eastside
Salem at Gainesville
Stephens County at Monroe Area
West Hall at North Hall
Walnut Grove at Chestatee

TRACK and FIELD:
Region 8-AAAA championships at Monroe Area


Tuesday, April 15
BASEBALL:
Lakeview Academy at Pinecrest Academy
Riverside Military at Union County
Towns County at George Walton

SOCCER:
Athens Academy at Lakeview Academy
Chestatee at North Hall
Dawson County at West Hall
East Hall at Banks County
Hart County at Jefferson
Flowery Branch at South Forsyth
Landmark Christian at Riverside Military
Lanier at Lumpkin County
Madison County at Johnson
Monroe Area at Stephens County
North Oconee at Jackson County
Union County at Rabun County

TRACK and FIELD:
Region 8-AAAAA championships at Loganville
Region 8-AAAA championships at Monroe Area


Wednesday, April 16
BASEBALL:
Banks County at West Hall
Chestatee at Walnut Grove
Clarke Central at Flowery Branch
East Jackson at Jackson County
Eastside at Lumpkin County
Fannin County at Buford
Gainesville at Salem
Jefferson at Rabun County
North Forsyth at Chattahoochee
North Hall at Dawson County
Peachtree Ridge at Habersham Central
White County at East Hall

SOCCER:
Gainesville at East Hall
Stephens County at Oconee County

TENNIS:
Region 8-AAAAA championships at Flowery Branch High and Davis Middle School
Region 8-AAAA championships at Madison County
Region 7-AAA championships at Bobby Bailey Tennis Center

TRACK and FIELD:
Region 8-AAAAA championships at Loganville
Region 8-AAAA championships at Monroe Area
Region 7-AAA championships at Dawson County
Region 8-AA championships at Jefferson


Thursday, April 17
BASEBALL
Athens Christian at Towns County

SOCCER:
Buford at Flowery Branch

TENNIS:
Region 8-AAAAA championships at Flowery Branch High and Davis Middle School
Region 8-AAAA championships at Madison County
Region 7-AAA championships at Bobby Bailey Tennis Center

TRACK and FIELD:
Region 8-AAAAA championships at Loganville
Region 7-AAA championships at Dawson County
Region 8-AA championships at Jefferson
Area 4-A (Public) championships at Athens Academy


Friday, April 18
BASEBALL:
Dawson County at Banks County
East Hall at West Hall
Eastside at Stephens County
Flowery Branch at Loganville
Jackson County at East Jackson
Johnson at Lumpkin County
North Forsyth at Alpharetta
North Hall at Buford
Heritage, Conyers at Gainesville
Rabun County at Greene County (doubleheader)
Towns County at Athens Christian
White County at Fannin County

GOLF:
North Georgia High School Invitational at Achasta Golf Club

SOCCER:
Banks County at Dawson County
Cedar Shoals at Flowery Branch
Gainesville at Johnson
George Walton at Lakeview Academy
Gilmer at Lumpkin County
Greene County at Riverside Military
Jackson County at East Jackson
Jefferson at Rabun County
Stephens County at Lanier
West Hall at North Hall
White County at Hart County

TRACK and FIELD:
Region 8-AA championships at Jefferson


Saturday, April 19
BASEBALL:
Jefferson at Oglethorpe County (doubleheader)
Union County at Washington-Wilkes (doubleheader)

GOLF:
North Georgia High School Invitational at Achasta Golf Club

TRACK and FIELD:
Area 4-A (Public) Championships at Athens Academy
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